Porch Newsnotes…

In 1901 the porch on our house (which, in 1901, sat at the corner of Court and 17th facing east) was not the same porch that we have now.

(left to right rear:C.B.Moores, Martin Chamberlin, Lenore Chamberlin Weller.  Center row: Rose Weller Chamberlin, Sallie Chamberlin Moores, Mrs. Hollister, Dr. Joseph Hollister.  Botoom row: Mary Chamberlin Waller, Hollister Chamberlin, Georgie Weller.)

When our house was moved about 1914 to it’s current location, a new porch…sort of a colonial revival porch (having NOTHING to do with the 1849 house)…was built.  Part of the decking was replaced in the 1970’s, but by August 2011, things had gone from bad to worse…take a look:

the nice Paul Jordan and his son Preston were here the other day to make a small porch miracle…

When the steps were dismantled, it became clear that the old porch had been narrower and there had probably been a sidewalk heading around the west side of the house (now that space has camellias dating at least from the early 1940’s…)


Here’s how the porch looked in the early 1930’s when the McElhinney family took a family photo.  In the center rear is Charlie McElhinney, and the little girl in front is Sue McElhinney (Rankin).  Sue’s daughter Katie now owns our local art supply store, the Art Department.

In 1948 the McElhinneys took another family photo (Sue, all grown up, is second from the right…), showing a bit of the porch with camellias in place…

But I digress…Paul had pre-primed the wood for the steps and was very tidy and systematic in his work.  Additionally he enhanced the superstructure of the stairs considerably…

Amazingly all the work was accomplished in one day, and we are back in porch business!!

PS: Preston came yesterday and put a “new” (old) screen on the studio.



  1. This is a wonderful story, Bonnie. I love the house’s families over the years. Now we need a photo of the current handsome occupants on these elegant new stairs. Yes?

  2. Excellent architectural archaeology. Interesting to speculate about the sidewalk and early stairs. Your porch, and those souls who knew and loved it like you do, are smiling. Nice work.

  3. Love these old photos…totally fabulous. Love the stories just as much and how lovely that you still live in the restored home! I am an Alaskan transplant to Salem, a liberated quilter/art quilter and just love having discovered your blog. My son lives in a 1925 remodel here in town and there is so much history and so much charm even from that era. Wish he had stories and photos for his!

  4. Great work! We are, thankfully through work like this, connected firmly to our past, which is barely past you help us know. Thank goodness for all those porch gatherings so we can be a part of your story.

    We are currently engaged in a similar reconstruction here, but sadly we do not have pictures of our previous 347 stewards to tell us what they contributed. Alas.

  5. Oh my gosh, Irene told me my mom was in this picture. I have never seen this one. I’m not sure who the other people are. Hopefully my Dad will know since my Mom won’t. I remember coming to visit my Grandma here and eating filberts from the tree on the west side of those very porch steps.
    Thanks for posting this.

  6. The next picture I recognize everyone. My mom’s immediate family plus her brothers wives and niece Christy.

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